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HPU speech and debate team claims second debate sweepstakes championship at TIFA

BROWNWOOD – April 5, 2021 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently secured debate sweepstakes for the second time in a row and won second place overall sweepstakes at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) Spring Championship tournament. HPU competed against 15 colleges and universities from Texas.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, coaches the team.

“Being back-to-back debate sweeps champs and winning second place overall sweeps after last semester’s success is amazing,” she said. “I’m so proud of the hours of work these students put into our speech and debate program.”

Senior Lucy Manning, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, strategic communication and jurisprudence major from Fort Worth, notched the top speaker spot in International Public Debate Association (IPDA) debate, second place in the tournament and third place top speaker in National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) debate.

HPU boasted four of the top 10 IPDA and NPDA speakers. In addition to Manning, top speakers included Devin Schurman, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, communication and public policy major from San Antonio; Parker Brown, junior Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and jurisprudence major from Denton; and Rishona Raub, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and strategic communication major from Celina. Each placed in the top 10 in both debate formats.

NPDA debate consists of teams of two debating in five preliminary rounds, with each round featuring a new topic. Each debate team advanced to quarterfinals.

“Each of our team members receives a scholarship for competing on the team,” Dr. Welker said. “They work very hard to earn these rankings, and I’m excited about the coming years for this team.”

The HPU speech and debate team will compete in the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament and the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament later this semester.

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Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team won debate sweepstakes and second place overall sweepstakes at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association Spring Championship tournament. Pictured from left to right are Alek Mendoza, Lucy Manning, Abigail Poling, Parker Brown, Jewel Schoppe, Rishona Raub, Esmeralda Maldonado, Devin Schurman and Dr. Julie Welker.

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